Louis and Koen wanted Edgard & Cooper to be different to the mainstream pet food currently available. That meant delicious, healthy dog food that played nice with nature.
Tells us about Edgard and Cooper (the dogs) and how they both came into your lives.
Louis: Cooper joined the Chalabi household in 2011, joining me and my wife. To this day, Cooper is the company teddy bear; he’s super happy to spend his days as the King of Calm, relaxing around the office and following me into meetings. He’s in the constant pursuit of the coolest corner to stretch out in – that is until he’s outside chasing anything and everything that moves (like a true cocker), or hears the rustle of our Good Boy Bites.
Koen: We actually got Edgard the same year. It was great to talk about our new companions. Edgard is definitely our company wild child. Whilst I am busy heading up our finance and operations teams, Edgard can be found frolicking with the other 10+ dogs in the office (and generally causing havoc). He’s my little boy and is still a constant source of fun, belly rubs and mischievousness (in true French bulldog style) for all the colleagues at HQ.
How did they inspire you to start producing your own dog food and treats?
Louis: Ten years after we met at university, we met frequently to talk about jobs, families and – inevitably – our dogs. Koen was upset that Edgard was getting ill with an upset belly and lots of messy poos. When we started looking into what was in dog food, we were shocked: meat meal, artificial flavours and unnatural ingredients. So, we decided to develop our own dog food made with fresh meat and natural ingredients.
Koen: When we first asked suppliers to try a recipe using fresh meat (plus fruit, vegetables and herbs), everyone said it couldn’t be done. We now have great partners and over five years on, we’re now feeding dogs in a dozen countries and ensuring thousands of dogs (and cats, too) are healthy and happy.
What’s a typical day like for Edgard and Cooper? Do they get to come to the office with you?
Louis: Edgard and Cooper both come to the office most days, along with other employees’ dogs. We have to be strict about feeding the dogs as there is always lots of food and treats around. Edgard and Cooper also visit lots of different countries, go to events and visiting our international employees in London, Paris, Rotterdam, Italy, Germany, and beyond. Recently, Cooper ran the Woof Run in Paris with me, and both dogs visit London at least a couple of times a year where they play the part of doggy models, posing for our Instagram page.
Koen: I also brought Edgard’s feline siblings, Ella and Charlie, to London for a shoot, but they didn’t enjoy the jetsetting lifestyle as much as Edgard and Cooper, so we leave them to relax at home as much as possible.
What exciting plans do you have in store for 2019?
Louis: With 30 humans and weigh dogs, Edgard & Cooper is growing fast: we’re selling healthy, tasty pet food in 12 countries and – due to popular demand – we now make cat food and dog treats, too. As well as considering more delicious food for pets, we’re also focusing on our paw print plan and our charitable donations.
We already package our products in 100% biodegradable and recyclable packaging, but we’re working hard towards our sustainability goals in 2019. We also commit 10% of profits to charity and since adding cat food to our range a couple of months ago, we’re looking for new dog and cat charities to support.